Monday, June 18th, 2012


Tonight’s Show Includes Interviews with John McEnroe, Bill Maher and Mike Florio and Costas’ Essay on the Roger Clemens Case 60-Minute Interview Show Taped Last Night from Studio 8G at 30 Rock “I was told by inside people, and I am going to mention names, my old friends, Linda Rambis and Jeanie Buss, who have an in with Phil (Jackson), that he supposedly wanted the job. Now, why didn’t they ask?” – John McEnroe to Costas on Phil Jackson coaching the Knicks “I put a call into him the other day, I said, ‘start the runners.’ And I think you’ll see that happening.” – Bill Maher (who owns a minority stake in the Mets) to Costas about calling Mets GM Sandy Alderson

NEW YORK – June 18, 2012 – Tennis legend John McEnroe, Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and’s Mike Florio joined Bob Costas, a 23-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and one of America’s preeminent interviewers, on the latest edition of Costas Tonight, a 60-minute interview program taped last night and premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.


  • McEnroe discusses his relationship with Jimmy Connors, his love of the Knicks and how today’s players are unlike when he played the game.


  • Maher talks about the color-coordinated fans at the NBA Finals, his minority stake in the Mets and his childhood love of baseball cards.


  • Florio gives his take on the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.


  • Costas ends the show with an essay on the Roger Clemens case.


Below are highlights from the taping of last night’s Costas Tonight:



McEnroe: “I sort of went into a depression because Phil Jackson, apparently, wasn’t even asked (to coach the Knicks). I was like, how could he not be asked?”


Costas: “But then he said that even if he was asked he would have said no because he thinks that the Knicks are too disjointed and clumsy.”


McEnroe: “Well that’s what he has said apparently, but I still would have like to have him asked. I was told by inside people, and I am going to mention names, my old friends, Linda Rambis and Jeanie Buss, who have an in with Phil, that he supposedly wanted the job. Now, why didn’t they ask?”


Costas: “If that’s the case, he was probably offended that he wasn’t asked by the team that he is connected to, the team for which he played.”


McEnroe: I mean, isn’t it the ultimate no brainer, I mean, to ask?”



McEnroe: “We really didn’t like each other for the most part, and I think people liked that in a way. I mean the Yankees and the Red Sox, they hate each other, and that’s wonderful to the fan…it brought out the best and the worst in us when we played against each other, particularly me.”


Costas:  “If you disliked, truly disliked, some of your main rivals, you reconciled with most of them, right, but not with Connors?”


McEnroe: “No, we respect each other. We may not like each other a whole lot. I doubt we will be having a lot of dinners, but certainly we respect. I respect Jimmy Connors. I am not going to speak for him, but he made me a better player. He made me try a lot harder. I think his twin is Pete Rose. He was the same guy.”


Costas: “Same haircut.”


McEnroe: Same haircut. Same just annoying, in your face type of style that actually drove you so insane that it was like I am going to do anything, I am going to go 120 percent instead of 100 percent just so I am going to beat this guy. But, he fed off that, so we both loved it ultimately. I know that we respect each other.”

* * *



Costas: “We’re going to let you write some new rules here for sports, as you do in one way or another each Friday night on HBO. I know if you could, you would ban the wearing of color-coordinated t-shirts by every fan at NBA games.”


Maher: “I’ve noticed this trend. You see it now because, I mean, I’m watching the playoffs and it’s a little North Korean, Bob, you know that everyone in the crowd is wearing the same color jersey.  And now I noticed they do it in two-tone and in one section you’re wearing blue and in the next section they’re all wearing white. Can’t we just come and watch the game? Do we really have to leave our individuality at the door when we’re just going to a sporting event? It’s ridiculous.”



Costas: “Now I know you’re not discussing exactly how large a piece you have, but obviously it’s not a controlling interest.  So you get a nice parking space, probably clubhouse privileges, free food, but you don’t get to sit in the room when Sandy Alderson decides how much he’s going to pay David Wright, have I got that correct?”


Maher: “I put a call into him the other day, I said, ‘start the runners.’ And I think you’ll see that happening.”


Costas: “Regardless of the situation, just start the runners?”
Maher: “Absolutely. I’m the opposite of Billy Beane. I’m playing big ball.”


* * *



Costas: “Isn’t it entirely possible that the league has even more damning evidence, that might implicate other players, maybe not to the extent that they feel Vilma and the rest whom they’ve already suspended are implicated, but enough to bring their names in. And the Players Association ought to be concerned about that. That if they force the league’s hand here it will get worse for the players rather than better?”


Florio: “Hey Bob that’s a great point because when this initially came up the league said there were 22-27 players who participated in the alleged bounty program. And even now we’ve seen more names get dragged into this who previously weren’t part of it.”


Re-Air Dates (All times ET):

Thursday, June 21, 9 a.m. and 2 a.m.

Sunday, June 24, 9:30 p.m.

Monday, June 25, 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Tuesday, June 26, 11 a.m.

Wednesday, June 27, 11:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Thursday, June 28, 7 a.m.

Friday, June 29, 9 a.m.

Saturday, June 30, 11 p.m.


Costas Tonight builds on Costas’ long and storied career as an interviewer from Later with Bob Costas and Costas Coast-to-Coast to his acclaimed HBO programs, On the Record and CostasNOW.  Costas Tonight was taped last night from Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.